Mike Johnson vows $118 billion ‘border never closes’ bill will be DOA in the House

Feb 5, 2024 | Political News

After the $118  billion border deal text was finally made publicly available from the Senate on Sunday, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and other Republicans pushed back on the proposal saying it would not become law. Johnson stated the deal would be “dead on arrival” in the House. 

“I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created. As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, ‘the border never closes.' If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival,” Johnson wrote on X. 

Of the $118 billion, only $20.23 is for “border security,”  $60.06 for Ukraine, and $14.1 billion would be going to Israel. 

Much of the border security funding in the bill is for helping illegal immigrants once they are in the US and decreasing the time it would take for them to become legal.

Co-author of the bill Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said with pride that under the bill, “the border never closes” and illegal immigrants are give work permits faster.

Text of H.R. 815 or the “Emergency National 5 Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024” was released on Sunday evening after many weeks of congressional Republicans pressing for Senate Democrats and some GOP members to release the text of the bill. The usual protocol would be that the Senate is out of session during the late hours of a weekend.

The 370-page long file has language to the effect of if the border averages 5,000 or more daily crossings of illegal immigrants, only then will the Secretary of Homeland Security use “emergency authority” to limit entry. This would also occur if there is any day that has “8,500 or more” border encounters.  

As well, “If the President finds that it is in the national interest to temporarily suspend the border emergency authority, the President may direct the Secretary to suspend use of the border emergency authority on an emergency basis,” the text adds. 

While the emergency authority is in place, the government will still be able to process “a minimum of 1,400 inadmissible aliens each calendar day cumulatively across all southwest land border ports of entry in a safe and orderly process developed by the Secretary.” 

Other GOP lawmakers ripped into the bill once its release. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) posted some of the text of the bill.  

“Basically, if there’s a caravan of 8,000 and Sec of HS requests DoD support to expel the wave, he can’t do so unless he conducts several analyses?” Lee quipped.  

Rep. and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), also put in his thoughts. 


“Let me be clear: The Senate Border Bill will NOT receive a vote in the House.” Scalise as the majority leader is in charge of allowing for votes in the congress. 

In addition, the bill will not reinstate anything like the “Remain in Mexico” policy under former President Trump for processing asylum claims. Instead, the border bill, under asylum claims, will allow “noncustodial proceedings” if an illegal immigrant “indicates an intention to apply for a protection determination or expresses a credible fear of persecution or torture.” 

Illegal immigrants who apply for asylum, as with the policy that the Biden administration has already implemented, will be allowed into the interior of the US pending asylum court dates.  

Previously, Johnson has stated that the Biden administration does not need the additional “emergency authority” designated in the new bill.  

On NBC's Meet the Press, Johnson cited that the House GOP has found “64 specific actions” that Biden his executive agencies took in order to “create th[e] catastrophe” with the border.